The boys with beards & heels
in the woods, in their circle, feral
for each other, for the night.
I am the owl in the tree
eyes wide with shock—
& something else. Each boy
has no shadow, in the firelight, dancing,
untethered. What spell draws me
closer, draws me out
from my barren hollow?
Turns my feathers into goose-bumped
skin—sweat-slick—am I dancing now
too? The air has no sound
but there is music. I am beautifully
flightless. Our heels grinding
into cold earth.
Grant Chemidlin is a queer poet living in Los Angeles. He is the author of What We Lost in the Swamp (Central Avenue Publishing, 2023), a finalist for the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Recent work has appeared in Palette Poetry, Quarterly West, Tupelo Quarterly, and Atlanta Review, among others.